Posts Tagged ‘ministry’

Resolve to be Thankful

Thankful? Haven’t we passed that holiday? I know, Thanksgiving was seven or eight weeks ago…the leftovers have vanished along with the attitude of gratitude that was quickly lost in the flurry of Christmas.  Now, here we are at the start of a new year. The presents have been returned, the wrapping has been recycled, and the tree is tucked away in the basement for another year.

Many people make resolutions beginning January 1st to improve themselves and their lives.  Lots of us make promises to eat less and exercise more, or to pray and read the bible more and watch TV less. All good things…and they would be even better if we could actually stick to them beyond Valentine’s Day! But here is an idea for a resolution: Be thankful.

Let’s start by looking at an example from scripture of what being thankful actually looks like. In Luke 17 we find the account of Jesus healing the ten lepers. As most people are well aware, leprosy was a horrible disease at the time. It was incurable and caused people to be completely separated and isolated from everyone…including their own spouse, family and friends. Therefore, when these ten guys heard this man was healing people, they wanted in on the deal and made their way to see him crying out loudly for Jesus to have mercy upon them.

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Learning to Say No

One of the first words that a child learns is “no”.  A small toddler knows what it means and it is an early entry in their verbal vocabulary as they wobble around repeating, “No, no, no” everywhere they go.  Even a dog will quickly learn the word when you are training him.  Yet while it is one of the earliest concepts that humans acquire, and extraordinarily simple to understand, many people never grasp the word or learn to act on it.

It is imperative that we get the whole idea of “NO!” drilled into our heads, learn to deny selfish desires and feelings, and do the right things in life. If you don’t get this, you will live a life that is nothing but a series of disasters that leave a wake of destruction in your path.

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It’s Dangerous for Men to “Follow Their Feelings”

Maleness is under attack in this country and has been for the past 40 plus years. This is true in the culture at large, as well as in The Church, and it is extremely detrimental to male culture and our society at large. For a few years now people have been addressing this issue in books like The Feminization of American Culture by Ann Douglas, and David Murrow’s Why Men Hate Going to Church. The results of this feminization have been disastrous. Men are not real men anymore. Many males themselves don’t even know what it means to be a man because they have no role models. Part of this is due to the fact, that far too many fathers have literally abandoned their children or they are not engaged playing an active role in being a part of their son’s lives. For decades since the industrial revolution, most boys have been surrounded and raised by women who are the caretakers and role models. The message men are getting in spades—consciously and unconsciously– is that they need to be more like women and less like men.

While, there is much to be said about the causes and cures for this phenomenon, for the sake of this argument, we are going to zero in on one particular area: living by feelings.  More importantly, how it’s a dangerous thing when men live by them. In his book, Man and Woman in Christ, Dr. Steven Clark states that one of the earmarks of a feminized man is that “he will place an unbalanced emphasis on how he feels (and how other people feel), in turn becoming highly visceral in his personal thinking and reactions”.  In other words, because such a high emphasis has been placed on feelings, men have incorrectly learned that they have permission to act on and live by their feelings rather than thinking through logically what is right and wrong.
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Tinkerbell Christianity

by Mark Gungor

Why does the Church seem to be so impotent today?

As I look at what we Evangelical Christians have accomplished over that last decades, I cannot help but be stunned at how far we have “dumbed down” the Christian message.  For the last fifty years, we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on crusades, television and radio broadcasts, concerts and outreaches trying to get as many people as we possibly can to “believe” in Jesus.  We have told millions of people that if they just “acknowledge Jesus as their savior, they will be saved!”

Really??

We have convinced millions of people that all they needed to do was “repeat this prayer after me…” and Christ would transform them from the kingdom of this world to the Kingdom of our glorious God.  That “it doesn’t matter what you do – just believe”.  That once they let those magic words ooze over their tongue, push past their teeth and bubble over their lips, they would now would become real Christians.

Really???

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Ministry Can Be Sensual

I know it sounds weird, but ministry can be a very sensual experience. Whether you are a pastor, elder, choir member or any other church volunteer, you can find yourself working very closely with the opposite sex. And much of the time you can be dealing with people who are emotionally hurting and desirous for caring human contact. There is frequently touching, hugging, smiling, and open hearts sharing. These people will often look up to you, admire you, respect you and think you are generally quite wonderful. Add to that the fact that people generally come to church always looking their very best and on their very best behavior, and you create an environment ripe for sexual temptation. It’s like a keg of gunpowder just waiting for a spark. Sadly, most Christian workers walk into this powder keg with little to no awareness of the danger that is lurking. This is why so many Christian leaders – including pastors – are falling into sexual sin.
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